Amex Declined Charges [Why & How To Fix]

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If you're like me, when you first got your Amex card (or any card for that matter), one of the great things is the lack of need to actually go in and discuss charges with anyone.

You can do it all on your own, online; but when you make a purchase and it gets declined, unless you have a good understanding of why, you have to call them.

In the event that your Amex charge gets declined, this is a very common thing and happens fairly often. In fact, I was recently rejected for a check card purchase!

This actually happened to me recently as well – at least three times – all due to increased security being implemented by AMEX to potentially better protect their customers.

What is Amex?

American Express is a credit card company that offers charge cards and credit cards to people in need of different services. They are considered one of the largest credit card companies in the world when it comes to processing transactions every day, mainly because they have over 200 million customers who trust them with their business.

Whether you're doing online shopping or playing games in an online casino, American Express is usually the go-to company when it comes to spending money.

What are some of the benefits of having Amex charge cards?

There are many benefits that come with having an American Express charge card in your wallet. First and foremost, they usually don't require any type of security deposit in order for you to get approved for them.

You can take out an Amex charge card knowing that you don't have to worry about any type of fees while you're waiting to be approved and they won't target you for having a low credit score and try and lock your account until the balance has been repaid in full.

Another big benefit is the lack of interest that is charged when you use an Amex charge card. Even if you go over your credit limit, there's no interest for the first month which gives you a chance to make things right and get back under your credit limit without having to pay anything out of pocket.

If you want to save as much as possible every month on your expenses, then it's always a good idea to stick with charge cards instead of credit cards.

Reasons, Why Amex Declined Charges

Any suspicious activity

This is one of the most common reasons. This can be anything from suspicious to outright fraudulent activity, so it's understandable why they would decline the charge.

A lot of times, you can call AMEX and they will give you the chance to fix the issue so that the charge won't be declined next time. Once they've reviewed your account more thoroughly, they'll let you know if it is safe to continue making purchases again on your card.

Purchase limits have been reached

Another common reason why your charge may get declined, especially when you first got the card, is because you reached your daily spending limit.

This typically lasts for about 2 business days before it goes up to $500/day, after which it's normally good for 30 calendar days. If they don't remove the purchase limits on your account, then this issue will happen again and you will need to call in for it to be removed.

There are different purchase limits, depending on the type of Amex that you have. For example, the Bluebird card has none (or at least that's what I'm told), while others may have $5000/day purchase limits without an app update. The only way to find out for sure is to call in or contact customer service via chat.

Expired Amex Card

There was a time when I had two Amex cards and they were both the same card number. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon mistake and can potentially cause major issues with your charges being declined or you even think that the charge went through, only to find out it didn't.

You don't want to have any of your accounts closed due to this type of mistake, so it's a good idea to call them and straighten out the mess before it gets out of hand.

Pending Credit Card Bills

Sometimes, even if the charge goes through on your card, it may still get declined. A lot of times this happens when there is a credit card bill pending on your account due to some type of billing issue.

In an effort to protect you from any fraudulent activity or simply keep up with bills, they will decline charges until everything is sorted out. If you don't see the bill pending in your account, you will need to call them and ask for it to be resolved.

Account Holds

On top of account holds, which can last up to 30 days at a time, they will also place an extra hold on the account for customers who are waiting for their Statements to close.

This is typically done about 10 days before your Statement closes and it gives them enough time to sort everything out. During this time, you won't be able to do any transactions because the account will have an extra hold on it.

Your Payment Due Date was not completed yet

Another common reason for your charge to get declined is because your bill hasn't been paid yet. There are a lot of people who forget to pay their bills on time, especially if they are due on the 1 st of each month.

If you don't pay in time, your card will be blocked until everything is settled and this can cause some issues in the short term. The good news is that they aren't going to close your account or anything like that, simply because if they did then all of their customers would flee like rats from a sinking ship.

How to fix this issue?

  • The best way to avoid these declined charges is to keep your account up-to-date and regularly check for any recurring transactions that may need payment. If you don't, then there's no telling what will happen when it comes time to process them and whether or not they will be declined or not. For example, if you have a monthly subscription that is due around the same time every month, then make sure you are never late on your payment. It's not that big of a deal when you get declined for $5, even though it can be embarrassing and frustrating at the same time. However, it's much worse to miss a $1000 payment and end up owing them thousands of dollars in interest, which is what you will wind up paying if you miss the deadline.
  • A lot of people don't like taking money out of their checking accounts because it can be hard to keep track of your expenses. That's why so many people use credit cards over checks because it's much easier to keep your expenses in order when they are all in one place. Because of all of this, you have to make sure that you have enough money in your account to cover the bills that are due on a regular basis.
  • If you don't have the means of paying your bill or getting your statement out on time, then you should talk to your Amex company and let them know what the situation is. They may be able to give you a few extra days or even extend your due date for a couple of weeks if they understand that you need some help with getting it paid. There's nothing wrong with asking as long as you don't abuse it and it can help you avoid declined charges in the future.

However, if they continue to decline your transactions after a few months of trying to pay on time, then you should consider looking at other alternatives. Amex has some great benefits and rewards programs for customers who spend a lot of money on their cards, but they can also be very expensive for people who don't have a lot of money to put down.

If they are costing you more than what you are making, then it might be time for you to look at other options so that your life isn't being compromised by their fees. Credit Karma is a good place to start looking and see if there are any cards out there that can help you save some money.

You can also check out our reviews on different cards so that you know which ones are the best when it comes to saving money and getting free stuff for being a loyal customer.

Saving money is important because if you have too much of it, then Amex won't be able to high-interest rates on your balances and that will cause you to be able to pay them off faster.

At the end of the day, your best option is to pay all of your monthly expenses on time and not let any transactions get declined. If you do, then it's going to cost you a lot more money than what was originally charged and it can wind up hurting your credit score because of the lack of payments.

A lot of people don't realize that their credit is important, but it can have a huge impact on your daily life and what opportunities are available to you.

How is the customer support service of Amex?

Customer support with Amex is very good. When it comes to customer service, American Express has always been considered one of the best companies that you can deal with when there's a problem.

It doesn't matter what type of problem it is either, they will make sure that your issue gets solved and taken care of as quickly as possible.

One of the main reasons why they are considered to be so great is because it doesn't matter what branch of Amex you go through, you will always get the same thing.

For example, let's say that you have a complaint about your Platinum card and you call up American Express directly. You'll receive the exact same service regardless of whether you called the Platinum line or the Gold line because they have a system in place that can transfer you from one desk to another.

You shouldn't have to be transferred through. If you're calling Amex, then it should just be one person who deals with your problem from start to finish and gets things sorted out as fast as possible.

If you want to make sure that you get the best customer service, then it's usually a good idea to call and ask what line people should be calling in for. That way, you won't end up getting transferred to another department and having your time wasted because someone else didn't know which line to send you through.


American Express is one of the best companies that you can deal with when it comes to getting customer service. They are always trying to find ways to improve their customer support system and work on complaints so that they can provide better services for people who call in.

They have representatives available around the clock so if there's any time that you need assistance then you'll be able to get in touch with somebody who can help.

American Express is also very good at getting your problems fixed within a reasonable amount of time so that you don't have to wait around all night for them to figure it out.

If you are having problems with your card or need any type of assistance, then make sure that you call and get in touch with somebody so that your issues can be solved as soon as possible.

Don't let it go on longer than needed, otherwise, you'll end up paying a lot more money for something that was avoidable if somebody had just taken care of it right away.

Michael Restiano

I lead product content strategy for SaltMoney. Additionally, I’m helping our broader team of 4 evolve into a mature content strategy practice with the right documentation and processes to deliver quality work. Prior to Instacart, I was a content strategy lead at Uber Eats and Facebook. Before that, I was a content strategist at SapientNitro, helping major Fortune 500 brands create better, more useful digital content.

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